Government Reviews of the Woomera Prohibited Area

On 11 May 2018 the Australian Government announced the appointment of Dr Gordon de Brower PSM to lead the 2018 Review of the Woomera Prohibited Area Coexistence Framework. The 2018 Review builds on the existing coexistence framework established in 2014, to balance the interests of all users of the WPA.

The Australian Government announced its support of the findings and recommendations of the 2018 Review on 29 March 2019. These recommendations reflect the enduring critical importance of the WPA to Australia's national security, while also recognising the national interest in maintaining the considerable value the WPA holds for Aboriginal cultural heritage, mineral resources, pastoral operations, environmental research and other scientific activities.

Three reviews of WPA governance arrangements were undertaken in 2016:

The Post-Implementation Review, and Interim Rule Review were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the Woomera Prohibited Area Rule 2014.

A review of the WPA Advisory Board to evaluate its operation and future functions.

Submissions to these reviews provided valuable information about the function and impact of the legislative and administrative arrangements in the WPA, and have assisted with the further development of the WPA coexistence framework in the 2018 Review.

On 17 May 2010 the Australian Government announced a review of governance arrangements in the WPA, to make recommendations about how to best use the area to further Australia's national interest. The 2010 Review ws lead by Dr Allan Hawke AC.

The review consulted extensively with individuals and groups with interests in the future use of the WPA. These included the South Australian Government, representatives of the resource sector and defence industry, the Woomera community, Woomera Advisory Board, pastoralists, South Australian Native Title Services, Commonwealth government agencies, and defences users of the WPA from the United Kingdom and United States of America.

The final report of the 2010 Review was released on 4 February 2011. It made recommendations to improve the use of the WPA in the national interest by better balancing national security and economic interests.